As we enter 2014, there is a new godfather of soul in town and his name is Moses. Whether it is pastrami’s arrival as the new bacon, popping up in places as varied as Wylie Dufresne’s Alder restaurant or the new pastraME sub from Subway, or Adam Levine being anointed the sexiest man alive by People, increasingly, Jewish is emerging as the new black, and the new cool.
Today Jewish power is flexing its muscle not only in TV and the culinary world, but fashion, art, and music are also picking up on the idea that Hebrew is the new hip. Just as Spike Mendelsohn has replaced Bubby Mandel as the new Jewish renegade de cuisine, the revered Jewish gangster is no longer the bookish Meyer Lansky, but rather Bugsy Siegel the gun slinging badass who invented modern day gambling, And with Jewish rappers like Drake and musician/designer Diwon exploding onto the downtown hipster scene, Jewish music is no longer confined to a lone fiddler on the roof.
It will be interesting to see if the 2008 Black is the new Black revolution, spurred by visionaries such as Oprah, Marcus Samuelson and Jay Z, that disrupted culture enough to put an African American in the White House, will show any signs of déjà Jew in 2014.